I have been asked what a man over seventy can do to keep occupied. The trouble is, that a man who can't keep busy didn't take interest in a great number of things when he was mentally active in his younger years. If he had done so, he would find plenty to occupy his time in reading, observing and watching people. There are a great many hobbies he can work with and keep busy until his death. . . . . . . Men are not as active at seventy as they were at fifty because they hurt their machinery too much. If they like a certain thing, they will overdo it. They eat too much, or drink too much, or if they like sleeping they will sleep too much.
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Source Notes: The Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison ("Sundry Observations"; chapter 1, "Autobiographical"; section 4 ), ed. Dagobert D. Runes (1948). Edison claimed he would be unwilling to retire from work until "the doctor brings in the oxygen cylinder."
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